Co 2020-21 Iggy Award Winner MPG (special again)
- Aug 15, 2011
Welcome to National Wear Purple for Peace Day!
On National Wear Purple for Peace Day, people don't wear purple to stop nuclear war or a particular conflict, and they don't aim for world peace just for the sake of it—they have a reason behind it. The day was made to get aliens to visit earth! Whoever thought it up believed that humans are too violent towards each other and that if we ever are going to get aliens to visit us, we better clean up our act. They also believed that wearing the color purple would help us achieve world peace, and would signal to aliens that we are on our way to reaching our goal.
Michael Gbinije on playing for Duke and Syracuse, Coach K’s retirement and pickle juice (PS; $; podcast; Waters)
Michael Gbinije holds the distinction of having played college basketball for two Hall of Fame coaches.
Gbinije spent one year at Duke where he played for Mike Krzyzewski and then transferred to Syracuse to play for Jim Boeheim.
In an appearance on the Inside Syracuse Basketball podcast, Gbinije talked about what it was like to play for the two coaching legends. What was it like for him to return to Duke as an opposing player? How did the Cameron Crazies treat him?
Gbinije discussed Coach K’s retirement and how he thinks Boeheim will handle his eventual exit.
Gbinije was the leading scorer on Syracuse’s 2016 Final Four. He talked about the Orange’s run to the Final Four and his career since leaving SU.
And pickle juice. We couldn’t let him go without bringing up the pickle juice that gave him recuperative powers during his senior year at Syracuse.
Expert discusses how Syracuse basketball gets another Carmelo Anthony (itlh; Adler)
My friend Matthew DeBritz put out an illuminating podcast recently where his guest, a top recruiting analyst/scout, shed some light on a variety of interesting topics as it relates to Syracuse basketball and the sport of collegiate hoops.
DeBritz’s Dome Dawg Podcast featured 247Sports director of scouting Adam Finkelstein, who is by far one of the most well-respected experts on high-school recruiting and scouting across the country.
With all of the national chatter over name, image and likeness, and how the NCAA is trying to navigate this issue, Finkelstein discussed how NIL, the transfer portal, professional opportunities and other factors are creating a seismic shift in the worlds of college, high-school and grassroots basketball recruiting.
One of the main challenges, as it pertains to NIL, is that the rules and regulations surrounding it can vary from state to state. And while student-athletes are allowed to earn endorsement income off their own names, images and likenesses, NIL deals are not supposed to be used in players’ recruiting processes as an inducement for them to pick a particular school or conference.
Syracuse basketball coaches have to navigate a muddied NIL situation.
Of course, we don’t live in a fantasy world, and as far as I can tell, high-school recruits and even college players in the transfer portal seem to be attracting NIL money, some of them into six and seven figures, that is essentially a payment of one form or another to entice them to select a specific team or conference.
From school to school, conference to conference and state to state, not everyone is playing by the same NIL rules, and that has led, at least for now, to a clustering of NIL dollars in places such as the South and Southeast, and not as much on the West Coast or in the Northeast, where the ‘Cuse is located, Finkelstein says.
He notes that much like basketball recruiting is way different than what it was a few years ago, as there hopefully becomes more clarity and unison on NIL in the future, that will mean hoops recruiting will be much more different in a couple of years than where it is today.
By all accounts, according to Finkelstein and others, Syracuse basketball has been going about its NIL efforts the right way and how it was intended, rather than being used as a recruiting tactic.
That being said, when Finkelstein discussed the possibility of how the Orange can land elite high-school players, such as a guy like Carmelo Anthony back in the day, NIL is a huge variable these days for five-star, top-10 prospects.
Syracuse Basketball: 5-star D.C. big man plans to take official visit to ‘Cuse (itlh; Adler)
A five-star, top-35 prospect in the 2024 class told a national recruiting analyst that he’s eyeing an official visit to Syracuse basketball and a few other schools down the line.
Donnie Freeman, a talented 6-foot-9 power forward from Washington, D.C., who had a really strong sophomore campaign during the 2021-22 term, received a scholarship offer from the Orange at the team’s annual Elite Camp this past August.
I believe that this offer to Freeman was the first one made by the ‘Cuse coaching staff in the 2024 cycle. As we’ve noted on several occasions of late, Syracuse basketball has offered numerous top-flight players in this class, including Freeman.
He suits up for St. John’s College High School in D.C., as well as for the Washington-based Team Takeover in Nike’s EYBL league on the AAU circuit.
In 2021-22, as a stand-out for St. John’s College High School, Freeman was named to the 2022 All-Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (“WCAC”) second squad.
Syracuse basketball appears to be in a good position with five-star Donnie Freeman.
In a recent interview with basketball recruiting director Rob Cassidy, Freeman said that when he is able to make official visits to college campuses, he plans to go to the Orange, Georgetown and Maryland, among others.
He noted that he’s also trying to take a trip to Alabama. The Crimson Tide, by the way, recently offered Freeman.
It’s highly encouraging that he is eyeing an official visit to the Hill. Ever since the ‘Cuse offered him last summer, Freeman has said some positive things about the Syracuse basketball program in a variety of interviews.
His recruiting process likely has a way to go, but Freeman has already landed offers from teams such as the Orange, Alabama, Maryland, Georgetown, Virginia Tech, Xavier, George Mason and Old Dominion, according to his Twitter page and recruiting services.
Top scout dissects 2022 class, says Syracuse basketball can be dangerous (itlh; Adler)
Syracuse basketball, to put it mildly, had a disappointing 2021-22 campaign, when it endured its first losing season in the 46 years that Jim Boeheim has served as the Orange’s head coach.
Looking ahead, the ‘Cuse 2022-23 roster will be vastly different, and that’s the case with high-major programs across the country, due to factors such as NIL, the transfer portal and professional options for high-school prospects.
Frankly, the Orange zone defense was not good in 2021-22, although the ‘Cuse could score points in droves. With the Boeheim brothers, senior shooting guard Buddy Boeheim and graduate student forward Jimmy Boeheim, along with others like senior forward Cole Swider having departed the Hill, it’s fair to assume that maybe the 2022-23 squad’s perimeter shooting might not prove quite as lethal.
Then again, as a top expert recently discussed, the Orange’s defense could be much better. And this pundit believes that while there may not be a lot of pre-season chatter and hype about Syracuse basketball ahead of the 2022-23 stanza, the ‘Cuse could be a dangerous team for which to contend.
The Syracuse basketball line-up should be way more athletic next season.
In 2022-23, the Orange returns guys such as junior guard Joe Girard III, junior guard Symir Torrence, junior center Jesse Edwards and freshman forward Benny Williams.
That’s a solid core. Then the ‘Cuse brings in a six-member 2022 class that is ranked in the top-10 to the top-20 nationally, per various recruiting services.
https://www.newsobserver.com/sports/college/acc/article261335482.html (newsobserver.com; Carter)
Almost five months after he became the fifth commissioner in ACC history, Jim Phillips stood in front of a crowded hotel banquet room in Charlotte and emphasized the single priority most critical to the league’s future. It was Phillips’ first major public appearance in his new role, and he was speaking at the ACC’s annual preseason football kickoff.
“As I’ve stated since my first day as ACC commissioner,” Phillips said then, “football must be number one priority for us — for all of us: our schools, the league, ACC Network, our partners, coaches.” He spoke of the need “to ensure that ACC football has the mindset of 24/7, 365, and we’re working together to further elevate football in the ACC.
“We’re just getting started.”
Phillips maintained that the league’s overt prioritization of football would “not be at the expense of our other 26 sponsored sports,” and he argued that “ACC basketball, which we all love, has been and will continue to be the paradigm for excellence.” Yet his message was clear enough: the era of the ACC’s reliance on its basketball roots had long ended; football was king, or at least it had to be.
The contrast between the league’s basketball-rich past and its uncertain future in a football-first college athletics world was as clear as ever last week during the ACC’s annual spring meetings on Amelia Island, a posh enclave of tree-canopied streets and oceanfront resorts near Jacksonville, Florida. For four days inside the Ritz-Carlton, long home to these meetings, Phillips met with ACC coaches and athletic directors about challenges facing the league.
The future of football divisions, and scheduling, became one of the newsier topics. So, too, was talk of the steady drumbeat of larger problems surrounding college athletics, those related to pay-for-play under the guise of name, image and likeness deals; the rumblings of inducements that have sent football and basketball players rushing into the transfer portal. ACC men’s basketball coaches, meanwhile, spent a long time discussing something that once came automatically: respect.
A different worldUntil the conference redeemed itself during the NCAA tournament, it plodded through a regular season in which it became something of a national punching bag. The perception of a “down” ACC took hold, and the league’s coaches last week discussed ideas about how to improve the conference’s image. It was a striking revelation, given the long-standing cachet of ACC basketball.
Last week, the conference invited Dan Gavitt, the NCAA’s senior vice president of basketball, to help its coaches understand the perception problem — “the narrative during the year,” as Phillips put it, that the league was weak. “We were trying to understand (that) a little bit,” Phillips said, acknowledging that the league’s relatively poor non-conference performance, early in the season, created a season-long perception that the ACC found difficult to shake until March.
There, in the NCAA tournament, league teams went 14-5 — the best record of any conference — and Duke and North Carolina played each other in a national semifinal for the first time. The Tar Heels’ 81-77 victory in New Orleans became an instant classic and, in the moment, a Duke-UNC game in the Final Four felt like an elixir for a sport in desperate need of a boost.
Drinks and music outside Prime Steakhouse in downtown Syracuse. (Charlie Miller | email@example.com)
Urban Brews With A View: 9 places to grab a drink outdoors in Syracuse (PS; $; Miller)
A few summers ago, we brought you along on a tour of some of the most scenic places in Central New York to relax with a cocktail.
Back then, businesses surrounded by vast green mountains like Heritage Hill Brewhouse in Pompey, Crazy Daisies in Onondaga and The Loft at Vesper Hills in Tully were just getting started.
A lot’s changed since then. Those gems have taken off, and Central New Yorkers quickly realized they didn’t have to spend every Happy Hour inside. Many other bars and restaurants followed their lead and added outdoor seating during the Covid shutdown for their customers to enjoy.
So consider this a new page in our growing list of places to go on days like today, when a clear sky will help elevate temps into the mid-80s and let you forget all those oh-so-dreary days that led up to this.
This is a one-day scavenger hunt for outdoor spots in Syracuse that offer a cold drink on a hot afternoon.
Salt City Coffee and Bar